To Think, a Few Months Ago Heritage Could Find No Takers for J.D. Salinger's Yearbook

No doubt you've heard: J.D. Salinger has died, though, as has been pointed out often in the past hour, the author of The Catcher in the Rye and Nine Stories and Franny and Zooey became a ghost long ago. But the news reminded me: A few months back, Unfair Park neighbor Heritage Auction Galleries was selling an incredibly rare item: a copy of the 1936 Pency PrepValley Forge Military Academy yearbook to which Salinger contributed one of his earliest pieces, "Class Poem." Salinger also signed the tome, "Best of luck to the guy that will put Hilden out of business, Jerome Salinger."

The piece did not sell at auction -- the seller set a $8,000 reserve, which went unmet -- and it has since been returned to its original owner. Thankfully, Heritage has left the item on its Web site for all to see, including the poem.